Disclaimer: They are not mine unless you have no idea who they are.
Spoilers: None. All. Whatever.
A/N: I am dedicating this to Lily because she gave me my 100th review on another story. This is much better than pencil shavings, no?
Mulder could hear Scully giggling as he walked down the hallway towards their office. She didn't often giggle, and certainly not at work, so he was a little worried that she had finally cracked.
He entered their office and found her sitting in his chair, her feet on the desk, and the phone up to her ear. She didn't notice him as he walked in, as she was turned slightly away from the door, so he crept up behind her and did probably the most unprofessional and immature thing he could think of.
He grabbed the chair and jerked it towards the floor. She let out a loud yelp and the phone went flying from her hands, landing on the floor with a thud.
He laughed as she tried to reach around and smack him. He dodged her easily, running around the other side of the desk as she scrambled from the chair and picked up the phone.
"Charlie, I'm going to have to call you back. I need to put Mulder's face in a cast."
"Have fun with that, sis. I'll talk to you in a few."
She hung up the phone and narrowed her eyes at Mulder.
"Today, you die."
"At least I die amused. You screamed like such a girl!"
She threw a pencil at him as he imitated her scream, complete with throwing his hands up in the air.
"I do not sound like that, Fox William Mulder."
"You middle named me!"
"You almost gave me a heart attack. The least I could do was middle name you."
"As long as we're even. That was Charlie on the phone?"
"We're not even, and yes it was Charlie. He and Michelle promised Maisy she could have a sleep-over tonight, but Corbin came down with chicken pox, so they wanted to see if they could move the sleep-over to my apartment."
"I was on the verge of saying yes when you almost killed me. Maybe it was fate telling me to reconsider."
"You'd really reconsider winning the title of best aunt in the whole entire world? You'd risk seeing the look of rejection and betrayal on Maisy's face? I know you can't handle that."
"I am a sucker for that face."
"You'd better do it."
She reseated herself in his chair, much to his chagrin, and picked up the phone.
"Hey Charlie, it's me."
"When's Mulder's wake?"
"I'll let Bill know. I'm sure he'll need to order some bells to wear."
"Figures. Tell Maisy the sleep-over is on. And remind her that I am the best aunt in the whole entire country and parts of Canada."
"Okay, just a sec."
She heard a muffled conversation and then a squeal, which sounded uncannily like the one Mulder had let out a few minutes before.
"Thank you thank you thank you Aunt Dana!" Maisy said. "We'll be really good and not make any messes I promise!"
"You just worry about having fun, and I'll worry about the messes. How many of your friends are coming?"
"Just five. Haley and Lauren and Carley and Brenna and Gianna. And me too."
"Do you want me to order pizza?"
"Yeah! Can we get ice-cream too?"
"I was thinking about cupcakes."
"Mommy has lots of cupcake decorating stuff. Can I bring it?"
"Sure. And brings some movies to watch too, okay?"
"This is going to be the best sleep over EVER!"
"I hope so. I'll see you tonight at six, okay sweetie?"
"Okay. Bye Aunt Dana! I love you."
"Love you too."
She hung up and found Mulder grinning at her.
"I wish you were my aunt."
He chuckled and picked up a file from the desk.
"Alright Aunt Bee, out of my chair."
"I was here first, and Aunt Bee?"
"She's a famous Aunt. I imagine you're much like Aunt Bee."
"Mulder, Aunt Bee is dead."
"The actress or the character?"
"The character never lived so she can't die, but I meant the actress."
"She's not dead."
"Yes she is. She died over ten years ago."
"No she didn't!"
"Mulder, yes she did."
"Aunt Bee can't die."
"She is dead Mulder."
"She is not. I bet you five bucks!"
"Five bucks? What can I buy with that, a fake tattoo and a box of cracker jacks?"
"You want to up the stakes then?"
"Fine. WHEN I win, you have to swear off country music for a week."
"Okay. I win, and you have to come over and help me wrangle the girls tonight."
He was quiet for a while, weighing his options.
"Are you faltering, Mulder?"
"No. I'll take the bet."
"This is going to be fun."
"You're going down, Scully."
"I've already won."
Twenty minutes and one visit to the computer research division later, Mulder was pounding his head on his desk.
"Aunt Bee is dead, Mulder. I win."
"Maybe she faked her death. I mean that one website did say that she kind of became a recluse."
"Yeah, I'm sure her and Elvis are yukking it up somewhere."
"Her tombstone though, it had that line about people who are remembered never really die."
"She's dead. And you lose."
"A sleepover, Scully? Really?"
"Oh yeah. You're going to be playing with Barbies until the sun comes up."
"I can't believe I got myself into this."
"That's what you get for being cocky."
"It's a hard pill to swallow."
"I know Mulder," she said, patting his hand. "But sometimes the hardest pills to swallow are the best for us."
"How in the world is this going to be good for me?"
"It will amuse me, which will make me much easier to deal with for a while."
"Small price to pay I suppose."
She narrowed her eyes at him and flicked his ear.
"You're a jerk."
"That's been established."
"It won't be that bad, Mulder. They're 8 years old, they can entertain themselves. Besides, you get to spend the night with me."
He waggled his eyebrows and she arched hers.
"There's the Mulder I know and love."
"You love me?"
He laughed and sat up, handing her a file.
"Skinner wants our report on this by 3."
"Alright," she said, glancing through the file. "Mulder, you just totally usurped the chair from me."
"I guess this did work out to my advantage."
"I hate you."
"I thought you loved me."
"I need coffee," she muttered, turning and leaving the office. Mulder chuckled to himself. He may have lost the battle, but he just won the war.
"Hi Aunt Dana!" Maisy squealed when Scully opened the door later that evening. "I bringed, I mean broughted, I mean brought all my favorite movies!"
"You did? All of them?"
"Yeah. Even Aladdin because I know you like that one."
"Correct you are my dear."
"Daddy got a nosebleed on the way here."
Scully arched her eyebrow at Charlie who just shrugged.
"That's what you get for picking your nose," she said with a grin. Charlie just rolled his eyes.
"Want me to stay and help you with the girls, Danes?"
"No, Mulder's coming over."
"Punishment for whatever made you scream in my ear earlier?"
"That, and he lost a bet."
"Seven years together and he still doesn't know not to bet against you."
"He's a slow learner."
"That's what he wants you to think."
Charlie chuckled and handed her a backpack and a sleeping bag.
"The rest of the girls should be here in about half an hour, and their parents will be back to pick them up around 10 tomorrow morning. Are you sure this is okay?"
"I'm sure. We'll have fun, right Maisy Moo?"
"Okay. I'm going to head home, but call us if you run into any problems."
"I will. Bye Charlie."
They closed the door behind him and Maisy clapped her hands in excitement.
"This is my very second sleepover, Dana. The first one was for my birthday, but some of my friends got in a fight. That wasn't very fun."
"We'll make sure that doesn't happen again."
"When is Mulder getting here?"
"He should be back soon. He had to go to the store."
"I needed some Bisquick so we can have pancakes in the morning."
"Your enthusiasm shocks me."
"Nothing. Why don't you go put your stuff in the bedroom?"
She skipped away and Scully chuckled, remembering sleepovers from years past. Somehow they always involved someone's bra ending up in the freezer. Luckily it was never hers.
Mulder came through the door a few minutes later, set three boxes of pizza on the table and handed her a bag of groceries.
"No problem. I got a movie for us too."
"I can only imagine."
"Don't worry, it's tame."
"Hi Mulder!" Maisy said, walking over and hugging him.
"Hi Maisy Face. Are you ready to party?"
"Yep. Are you going to stay the whole time?"
"Yes, because your aunt is a slave driver."
"I'm not a slave driver. Mulder is just a weenie."
Maisy laughed and sat down at the table.
"What kind of cupcakes are we having Dana?"
"I made some chocolate ones already and the vanilla ones are in the oven."
"I can see us getting fatter," Maisy commented, licking her lips. "Can we put frosting on it?"
"Yes, I made some already."
"I told you you're Aunt Bee," Mulder muttered. Scully wadded up a napkin and threw it at his head. He batted it away, causing it to land in the bowl of frosting.
"Mulder, I swear on everything that is even remotely holy or spiritual, someday I will kill you. And when I do, the world will suddenly make sense again."
"More power to you," he teased, opening a bag of gummi bears. He tipped it towards Maisy who took a handful and popped them into her mouth.
"Thanks Mulder," she said around the wad of candy. "Aunt Dana always makes faces when I eat gummi bears."
"That's because she's a party pooper."
"Every party needs a pooper... that's why you invited her."
Maisy giggled. She had heard her grandmother say they same thing about her Uncle Bill. She was old enough to know that comparing Dana to Bill was a bad idea, so she kept her mouth shut and concentrated on the gummi bears.
"Scully I just called you a party pooper and you didn't say a word."
"I don't have to say anything to you. Jerk."
"Apparently you did have something to say."
"Stuff it," she said, taking a pan of cupcakes out of the oven.
"Young ears, Dana Katherine."
Maisy laughed outright at that one. She had spent enough time around the two of them that she expected this behavior. The banter would go on for a few more minutes, and then he would say something endearing, she would reply "Oh Mulder..." and they would smile at each other for a moment before realizing that everyone in the room was staring at them. It was predictable, but she would never tell her aunt that.
There was a knock on the door and Maisy jumped up from her seat.
"I bet that's Lauren, she's always early!"
Scully followed her to the door and Mulder could hear excited chatter from the girls before they came into the kitchen.
"Mulder, this is my best friend Lauren. Lauren, this is Mulder. He's Aunt Dana's.... um... he's her..."
"Friend, Mais," Mulder supplied.
"If you whatever me, I'll be eating every last one of your cupcakes."
"You're so weird," Maisy said, shaking her head. "Please don't scare my friends away."
Scully snorted in amusement as she came back into the kitchen. She could almost hear herself saying the same thing.
"I feel slightly persecuted."
"Oh Mulder," Scully sighed, smirking. Maisy rolled her eyes and took Lauren's bags from her.
"Come on, we can put this stuff in the other room. These two are weird."
Lauren stifled a laugh and followed her friend.
An hour later, the girls were sitting on the floor watching a movie and giggling, and Mulder and Scully were in the kitchen, cleaning up what very little remained of three pizzas.
"Girls are weird," Mulder complained, putting the Dr. Pepper back in the fridge.
"They must be. They think you're a hoot."
"Slipping in the water and falling on my butt was an accident, not slapstick comedy."
"They liked it. Like you said: weird."
"You laughed too, so doesn't that mean you're weird?"
"No, just desensitized to your antics."
"I see. So they're going to go to bed soon, right?"
She just stared at him for a moment.
"Are you kidding me?"
"Mulder, they're probably going to be up for quite a while. You may fall asleep before they do. And if you do I would suggest crashing in my room with the door locked. They're at the age where practical jokes are the end all beat all for popularity."
"We're talking hand in warm water?"
"We're talking taping a sleeping person to the floor and yelling fire. We're talking bubble wrap behind your car tire. We're talking Icy-Hot on the toilet seat. This is the big leagues, bubba."
"And on a scale from one to ten, how much do you encourage this behavior?"
"About a 54."
He just shook his head and started to wipe down the table.
"Girls are really weird."
She grinned and opened the bag of cupcake decorations that Maisy had brought.
"My lovely sister in law filled this bag with nothing but candy and sprinkles and... I should hide this."
"Scully, what else are they going to decorate cupcakes with?"
"Frosting. And I thought maybe those little plastic ring things."
"Are you kidding me? You are a party pooper."
"No, I just... don't really think that much candy is a good idea."
"You'll Icy-Hot a toilet seat, but you won't let them eat M&M's."
"You don't have to put all the candy out. The rest we can eat later."
"That is true. They are not getting the Twizzlers."
"Who puts Twizzlers on a cupcake?"
"An 8 year old girl, that's who."
"Right. And Dana Scully also, I'm assuming."
"If it tickles my fancy."
"Aunt Dana, can we make cupcakes now?"
"Yes, if you guys are ready."
"Gracefully ignoring my facetious comment."
She glared -but only a little- as the girls came bounding into the room.
"Is there chocolate frosting?" Gianna asked, her eyes getting large as she looked at the cupcakes.
"No, I just made plain, but you can use food coloring to make it any color you want."
The girls sat down at the table and within minutes, they had all set to work on their various creations. Scully worked silently at the counter and wouldn't let Mulder see what she was making. He didn't mind too much. The candy was at the table and that is where he felt comfortable.
"Done," Scully exclaimed, turning around, holding her cupcake. She had frosted it with white frosting, then covered that in shredded coconut. Atop the coconut were three blobs of light blue frosting with beaks.
"You made birds in a nest on a cupcake, Scully?"
"Martha Stewart is good for more than bad jokes. What does yours look like?"
He held up a chocolate cupcake, covered in brown frosting, with gummi worms all over it. Scully couldn't help laughing.
She just smiled and started humming We Go Together as she plucked a gummi worm off of his cupcake and ate it. He rolled his eyes.
"What are you girls doing after cupcakes?"
"Nail polish!" Maisy exclaimed. "Will you do our toes aunt Dana?"
"I suppose I could do that."
Maisy squealed and bit into her cupcake, which didn't even resemble dessert anymore.
"I think we should paint Mulder's toes," Scully commented as she finished with Maisy's feet. Mulder rolled his eyes as the girls giggled.
"I don't think so, Scully."
"Oh come on Mulder, don't be a spoilsport."
"I'm not a spoilsport. I'm sane."
She grinned and waved a bottle of purple nail polish under his nose.
"Tempting isn't it?"
"Not in the least."
She smirked and stood up from the floor.
"Well girls, what do you think? Another movie?"
"Yes. Aladdin," Maisy decided, holding up the VHS. "Aunt Dana has a crush on the genie."
"I do not have a crush on the genie Margaret Katherine. I just think he's funny."
Mulder raised his eyebrows.
"This is the joy of having nieces and nephews, Mulder. You get to watch cartoons without having to think of an excuse."
"You like cartoons?"
"Just the Disney ones, but yes, I do."
"You're a daisy."
"I was going to say that you keep unfolding like a flower, but I thought you would get the reference."
"Daisy's don't exactly unfold. You should have said I was a rose or something."
Mulder never thought he would see the day when Dana Scully quoted a Disney movie from beginning to end. The whole thing. Every single world. She even sang the songs. He sat next to her on the couch, his eyebrows arched so high they started to ache.
"I am NOT a prize to be won!" Scully said, along with Jasmine.
"Not now you're not," Mulder retorted. Scully reached over and smacked his arm. "You're not becoming more endearing."
She just rolled her eyes. She felt like she had been doing that a lot lately.
"Looks like the girls are all asleep," he commented, nodding at Maisy who was snoozing in her aunt's lap.
"Guess my prediction was wrong. I thought they would be up for a few more hours."
"It's amazing how quickly a sugar high wears off."
"I suppose. I should probably put her to bed."
"Which sleeping bag is hers?"
"Knowing Maisy, probably the one under the coffee table."
"We could just leave her on the couch."
She agreed and they settled Maisy into the couch, tucking a blanket tightly around her. They carefully maneuvered over sleeping girls until they made it to the kitchen.
"You don't have to stay if you don't want to," Scully said, starting to clean up the second round of cupcake decorating.
"It was the bet. I don't back down on a bet."
"I know, but I am releasing you of your obligation. Go home and get some sleep."
"Besides, I got a movie for us."
"I know, and I'm skeptical on so many levels."
"It's tame. It's rated PG-13 for language and extreme weather situations. We can watch it in your room on that dinky little TV you never use, so we won't wake up the girls. Plus, you have the Twizzlers."
"Alright. Let me just clean up the stuff that can't wait until morning."
"I'll help. I have a feeling the women will wake with a hunger and we don't want to delay the pancake making process in any way shape or form."
"So you do know a little something about the fairer sex."
"Years around you have made me more sensitive to the finer points."
"I speak for me and the next woman you date when I say "Thank you for paying attention."
She smiled and turned to face him.
"Mulder, the women you date..."
"I'm a hermit, Scully. I don't date. I don't have time."
"Do you have time?"
"Then I don't either."
She eyed him for a moment, wondering if there was something hidden in the comment. He just eyed her back. She blinked and turned the dishwasher on, avoiding his now probing gaze.
"Did we just have a moment?"
She held back the giggle and dried her hands on a dishtowel.
"Mulder, you really are something else."
"Animal, vegetable, mineral?"
"I said something else."
"Not unless you do."
"Mr. Can't think for Himself, party of one."
"Fine, popcorn would be good. Won't it wake up the girls though?"
"It might. And if we have some they're going to want some."
"So Twizzlers. Got any other junk food?"
"Whatever is left on your shelf."
He went over to the cupboard and opened it, searching his shelf for a snack.
"Scully, why are there granola bars on my shelf?"
"I just thought that someday in the haze of 2 a.m. and lots of expense reports, your hand may come across the granola bars and you would eat them, unwittingly doing something good for your body. I was wrong."
"Yes you were."
She chuckled and opened the bottom drawer where he thought the potholders were. She produced a bag of Tootsie Rolls and a bag of potato chips.
"I like pretty things."
He grinned and grabbed the movie off of the counter before following her into the bedroom.
"If you're going to sit on my bed, you can't get crumbs on it," Scully warned as Mulder put the movie in.
"I won't. I swear."
"You also swore that you wouldn't start a flour fight with me when we made that cake last time. Yet I am still finding flour in the strangest places in my kitchen."
"You flicked me with a dishtowel so you were the one that started the fight."
"You chose to retaliate with flour. You could have done any number of things."
"I had the flour in my hand. It was a reflex."
"Well whatever. Don't spill on my bed."
He nodded and sat down next to her, pressing play on the remote as Scully began to pull and peel her Twizzlers.
"Hey, you gonna share the love?"
She handed him a single Twizzler and he puppy-faced her until she slid the bag over so it was between them.
"We're going to be so fat, Scully."
"I am not. I have a metabolism like you wouldn't believe."
"You'll get fat faster then."
"Shut up. My logic helps me sleep at night."
He chuckled and settled in to watch the movie.
He woke the next morning to a loud, girly shriek followed by the words "Pillow Fight!" He groaned and opened his eyes.
He was spooned up behind Scully, his arm around her waist, and Tootsie Roll wrappers littering the bed. He vaguely remembered the sugar induced wrapper fight they had had right before hitting the proverbial wall and falling asleep.
"What was that noise?" Scully muttered.
"Maisy or one of her counterparts. What time is it?"
She reached for her alarm clock and turned it so she could see it.
"Seven. I gotta get up."
"Pancakes. Feed the troops. You coming?"
She yawned but remained where she was for a moment.
"Why is there a Tootsie Roll wrapper down my shirt?"
"I put it there."
"We were throwing them at each other."
"I don't remember."
"My head hurts."
"Aw, my little Scully has her first sugar hangover."
"Did we really eat all the Twizzlers and the jumbo bag of Tootsie Rolls?"
"My teeth feel like they're wearing sweaters."
"Your voice sounds funny when you first wake up."
"So does yours."
"It does not."
"You sound like Louis Armstrong."
"You sound like Squeaky McSqueakerson."
"Aunt Dana, are we having breakfast?"
"Yeah, I'll be out in a minute."
She stood from the bed and stretched and Mulder marveled at her ability to pretend like their sleeping position was not a big deal. Maybe it wasn't. They'd been forced to share a bed once or twice before, and while he usually invaded her space sometime in the night, he usually also woke up much before her and moved. But because she was acting so nonchalant, maybe she had always woken up before him and not moved. It was interesting to be sure.
"Are you coming?"
"Do you need me to?"
"You're a good bacon cooker."
He followed her into the kitchen and pulled the bacon out of the freezer.
"How many pancakes are you making?"
"The whole box," she answered, taking a bowl out of the cupboard. "Whatever they don't eat I'll have as a midnight snack."
"Yeah. They're good cold."
"You're a strange woman."
"You're a strange man."
He smiled and wrestled the bacon out of the package and onto a plate before putting it in the microwave to thaw. He wiped off the counter and washed his hands, then grabbed the milk out of the fridge. He handed it to Scully and she poured it into the bowl with the Bisquick without really measuring it.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Your wheels are turning so loudly I can't hear the girls squealing."
"It's something. Hand me the honey?"
"The honey. I put it in the pancakes."
He grabbed the plastic bear and handed it to her, watching as she poured a good quarter cup into the pancake batter.
"So what's on your mind?"
"I said nothing."
"You lied. You can tell me. I'm your best friend. At least I think I am."
He sighed and set a frying pan on the stove before taking the bacon out of the microwave.
"We woke up quite close together this morning."
"Well, nothing really. It just didn't seem to affect you, that's all."
"Should it have?"
"Not necessarily, I was just thinking that you would have said or done something. I don't know. Never mind."
"Mulder," she chuckled, looking up at him. "What difference does it make? So you slept in my bed last night. It's no different than when you crashed in my hospital beds with me."
"You were sick then."
"Yes, but we're talking about proximity here, not about a reason. It didn't bother me, I didn't hate it and there was nothing wrong about it, so what's your damage?"
"Nothing. I had no problem with it either."
"So what were you thinking about?"
"I was just wondering why you didn't have a problem with it."
"Because. Mulder, we fell asleep together. It's happened before. Last week on the couch, if memory serves."
"Yeah, but we woke up with more than a centimeter between us."
"Maybe it was cold last night, Mulder. Stop over thinking it. I could tell my mom exactly what happened and I would not even blush. It was innocent. It was nice. Leave it alone."
"It was nice?"
"I knew you would pick that out of everything I said..."
"Maybe we could recreate the niceties sometime."
"You're impossible. Hand me another frying pan."
"Biggest one I have. I'm going to hit you over the head with it."
"You're weird in the morning."
They grinned at each other as she took the frying pan from his hands and continued making breakfast.
"Aunt Dana, just how am I supposed to eat a pancake with a whisk?" Maisy asked, raising an eyebrow.
"That's the fun of the game."
"But when you said 'Pick a utensil out of the drawer' you didn't warn us about why."
"That's the other fun of the game, kiddo."
"I'm getting you back for this."
"I'm sure you are."
Mulder watched the scene with much amusement, marveling once again at how good Scully was with kids. Maybe he wasn't so much surprised as he was intrigued.
She leaned against the counter with him and stole a piece of bacon off his plate.
"Why do you always steal my food?"
"You don't eat it fast enough. Want some coffee?"
She poured him a cup and took a sip before handing it to him.
"You like me and you know it."
He rolled his eyes and finished his pancake (with a fork) before she could take it.
"You know, as much as I think I would be a terrible parent, it might be fun to have kids."
"You wouldn't be a terrible parent, Mulder."
"You don't know that."
"If you had a kid, you would love them like crazy. You would do anything for them. I know you. I would have k- I can see you as a dad, Mulder. And I'm not just saying that. I really can."
"I speak the truth."
"Remember what I said about never seeing you as a mother?"
"It came out wrong. I can see you as a mother, I just... never really knew you wanted to be one. That's all."
"I knew that's what you meant. And thank you."
He smiled and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Although kids of mine might be scarred for life if I told them Flukeman stories at bedtime."
"Well, it's good you have that degree in psychology then, huh?"
"That's my little optimist."
Maisy walked over to them and sighed.
"Hat's off on the pancakes, Aunt Dana," she said, taking off her green golf hat and placing it on her aunt's head. "But if you ever make me eat my food with a whisk again..."
"Mais, just pick smarter next time."
She sighed and left the room.
"You must be a leprechaun," Mulder said, adjusting the hat. Scully smiled.
"I'm not sharing my Lucky Charms."
"I would never ask such a thing of a lady."
"I am going to take a shower so I'm at least presentable when the girls' parents get here. Will you clean up the kitchen?"
"I'll do it up right proper."
"I'm sure you will."
As soon as Charlie left with Maisy, Scully flopped down on the couch with a sigh.
"Pooped?" Mulder asked, putting his coat on.
"Like a diaper."
"How descriptive. Take a nap."
"And waste a Saturday?"
"That's kind of what they're there for."
"No I have too much to do."
"Grocery shopping, laundry. You wouldn't understand."
"I probably wouldn't," he agreed. "We should do this again sometime."
"Go a whole night without talking about work."
"Yes. Next weekend. It's a date."
He grinned and leaned down and kissed her temple.
"See ya later, Scully."
He looked at her for just a second longer before heading out the door. Sometimes the best things happens when you don't plan them. Sometimes losing the bet is preferable to winning it. And sometimes there is no losing at all.
A/N II: This was a challenge fic.... Elements used...
1. a casted body part
2. "That's what you get for picking your nose"
3. Bisquick mix
4. a fake tattoo
5. a five dollar bet
6. country music
7. cracker jacks
8. plastic ring (like from a cupcake)
9. purple toenail polish
10. "You must be a leprechaun."
Thanks Julia... this was fun and I can't wait to read yours.